Formed in: August 26, 1941 Islamic scholar Abul Ala...
Published July 16, 2018

Formed in: August 26, 1941

Islamic scholar Abul Ala Maududi and 74 others laid the party's foundation in Lahore to launch a joint struggle to bring in an Islamic revolution.

Top JI leaders

  • Sirajul Haq
  • Liaquat Baloch
  • Prof Ibrahim
  • Mian Maqsood
  • Mushtaq Ahmed Khan
  • Fareed Paracha

Key concerns

  • Islamic revolution
  • Islamic welfare
  • Pan-Islamism
  • Eradicating corruption
  • Democracy

2018 elections

JI is contesting from the MMA platform which is fielding candidates from 189 NA seats. Out of these, 72 seats are from Punjab, 53 from Sindh, 38 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 15 from Balochistan, eight from Fata and three from Islamabad.

2013 elections

The party won three seats in the National Assembly

Previous elections

2008: Party joined hands with the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) which boycotted polls

2002: JI was part of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal which secured 45 NA seats

1997: Party boycotted the elections

1993: JI contested election under the banner of the Pakistan Islamic Front which won three seats in NA

1990: Party contested election under the Pakistan Islamic Front banner, which secured zero national seats

1977: JI contested election as part of Pakistan National Alliance; the PNA secured a total of 36 NA seats

1970: Party won four NA seats

2018 manifesto

Manifesto Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan by MuhammadNaeemSafdarChap on Scribd

Major political plays

  • In 1965, then military ruler and self-proclaimed Field Marshal Ayub Khan decided to hold presidential elections in which JI, which was part of the anti-Ayub Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), supported Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's sister Fatima Jinnah. Miss Jinnah lost the election.

  • During the East Pakistan conflict, JI supported Al-Badr, a paramilitary force operating under the Pakistani government's patronage to counter the Mukti Bahini, which was allegedly being funded by India. Al-Badr was set up by the Pakistani army, and its cadres consisted of volunteers from the JI and its student wing.

  • The party, which has been pushing for the promulgation of Islamic law in the country, claims credit for the Objective Resolution, saying it was because of its efforts that the government was compelled to introduce it in the assembly and later adopt it. The resolution became a preamble to the Constitution and proclaimed that the future constitution of Pakistan would be modelled on Islamic ideology.

  • The JI also supported the 'jihad' against the Soviets in Afghanistan and backed then-military dictator Ziaul Haq who was leading the anti-Moscow campaign in Pakistan.

  • After Zia's death, JI joined a right-wing alliance – Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) — which operated under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and was formed to stand in opposition to the Pakistan Peoples Party in the 1998 general election. By the time the 1993 election happened, IJI had disappeared from the scene and JI preferred to contest under the name of Pakistan Islamic Front (PIF).

  • In 2002, JI became part of a formidable force constituting of a number of religio-political parties: the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA). The alliance was formed following the efforts of its then chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and was first constituted to protest US military actions in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks. This anti-US alliance later on became an electoral alliance and contested the 2002 polls. This year again, JI is contesting from the MMA's platform.

  • The Jamaat-i-Islami was the first party to move the apex court against the Panama Papers leaks. Later, the Supreme Court clubbed several petitions on the same scandal, which led to the ouster of then premier Nawaz Sharif.

  • After the 2013 elections, the party allied with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. The coalition, however, faced several ups and down and by the end of the term, the Jamaat left the coalition government in the province.

Controversy and criticism

  • The party has seen periods where its top leadership has tacitly advocated militant approaches when it comes to Afghanistan and Kashmir. JI supported the anti-Soviet jihad and later supported the Afghan Taliban following US military intervention in the land-locked country in 2001. Not only did the Jamaat extend moral support to the Afghan Taliban, a number of IJT and JI members joined their ranks, fighting against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

  • Former JI chief Munawar Hasan once declared TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a drone strike, a martyr. He also argued that if an American who died on the battlefield was not a martyr how could those from among the Pakistan army fighting the American war be termed as martyrs. The statement drew a strong response from the army, calling for an unconditional apology from the JI emir. Though the Jamaat defended its leader after the army condemned his remarks, it distanced itself from his statement by saying it represented Hasan’s personal views.

  • The JI had waged a campaign in 1953 against the Ahmadi community in Pakistan. The campaign witnessed several arrests, killings and unrest, which led to a martial law rule in Lahore. The martial law authorities, on May 11, sentenced JI founder Maududi to death for writing a book on the issue, declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims. The sentence was later revoked. Finally, in 1974, the movement was successful in declaring the Ahmadi community as a non-Muslim minority through the National Assembly during the tenure of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

  • JI and IJT cadres have been accused of having connections with the Pakistani Taliban as well as Al-Qaeda. However, Jamaat's leadership publicly maintains that the party believes in a democratic and peaceful struggle for Islamic rule in Pakistan.